Sorry for the short title... I just don't have anything chippy to say about situation.
I won't get into Niland's resignation specifically. I feel bad for her that personal stuff is now public stuff. Let's leave it at that. I'll delete any comments that go that direction, so keep your eye on the prize and out of the gutter.
Jaime Abeytia mentioned it on his blog post about the situation - there isn't much time for no-names and underfunded candidates to get traction in this race. Big name ID is the key here. The race is in June during the set runoff for the May election. A little voter fatigue comes into play here. Westsiders have just voted for mayor and will be asked to return to the polls vote for their representative. This does not bode well for turnout.
I don't know who'd be best to run in this situation. Abeytia says it looks good for Dori Fenenbock. Maybe so. Whoever it is going to be, isn't going to be alone. Short special elections usually cut one of two ways - only two people get in or a million people get in. I'm going to venture that in El Paso a ton of people will just throw their name in the hat knowing that campaigning isn't a real commitment for this one and a good ballot position could get a good finish.
Do I think this abrupt resignation had some political planning behind it? Yes. From what I've come to know about Niland is that she developed a sophisticated political sense during her tenure. And by "develop" I mean she has folks in her ear with an agenda - and that's not a bad thing! That's the reality of politics. Show me a politician without an agenda and I'll show you what Texas Monthly deems as "furniture."
As has been the recent theme here - please post your favorite to take the spot below... and make sure you mean things to each other while doing that.